Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Sunday he was not aware the US government was providing assistance to government troops in its battle against Islamist militants in a southern city.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte talks to soldiers during a visit to a military camp in Zamboanga, Sibugay in southern Philippines June 2, 2017. Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Sunday (Jun 11) he was not aware the US government was providing assistance to government troops in its battle against Islamist militants in a southern city.

Duterte also said he “never approached America” for help.

“I am not aware of that until they arrived,” Duterte told a media briefing when asked about US support to fight the pro-Islamic State militants in Marawi City.

US forces were providing the Philippines with technical assistance, but they had no “boots on the ground”, the Philippines military said on Saturday.



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